Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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Paralympians do proud to the country

Whatever our Paralympians, both young and old, did at the Tokyo Paralymic games has become a substance of history in its own form. Till the writing of these lines, our differently abled players took as many as 19 medals including two gold and four silver. They all have shown that in areas of determination and will to do something very special, they do not, in any way, lag behind. Bhavnaben Patel won India’s first medal as also India’s first table tennis medal at Tokyo games. Not only history was scripted but memorable moments were recorded to be remembered for a long time. Javelin throwing with a thunder speed , as if a speciality with Indian athletes, Sumit Antil and shooter Avani Lekhara both in debutant performance did their golden best to claim the gold medals while two silvers were claimed each by Devendra Jhajharia and Yogesh Kathuniya in discus, along with a bronze by Sundar Singh Gurjar. India, with a team of 54 athletes were playing nine international sports .
Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar with their performance brought more glory for India winning silver and bronze respectively in the men’s high jump T-63. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has compared the excelling of Mariyappan as synonymous with consistence and excellence by saying “India is proud of his feat.” Narendra Modi , again termed the performance of Sharad Kumar as “brought smiles on the face of every Indian, his life journey will motivate many.” With such encouraging notes for the feats achieved by our paralymians , not only is the zeal and determination to do still better in future strengthened in them but would motivate many budding and grooming but talented differently-abled persons . Again, Indian shooter Singhraj Adana won the bronze medal in the Pl men’s 10 m pistol SH1 event.
It is not only the question of series of trainings the players undergo but the element of consistency and progressively bettering achieved records are symbolic of their dedication to sports and commitment to the country to bring laurels. What we intend to convey is that India cannot be seen, not in serious competition with other countries possibly with better training and support facilities although it is also a fact that India “absented” from the events under reference right from 1972 to 1984 games after its debut at 1968 games. Golden moments, however, must be recorded in golden words as in 1972 India won a Gold in swimming competition. Why it appeared with those authorities primarily political leadership, to prefer to go into a slack and go slow manner, if not to the limits of totally ignoring paralympic players and not focus due attention on them, is a debatable point while such an approach being a glaring negation of “yes, they also can bring laurels to the country” cannot be overruled.
We have to acknowledge that these players are inspirational examples for others that with the reasonable support and providing opportunities to demonstrate their skills, they can show what they, as differently abled players can do. It may look prosaic if not out of context, that the requisite supporting infrastructure in respect of these players requires a lot of improvement. It also must open new thoughts in changed mind sets about the general approach towards this section of the society. In matters of their “works” in Government offices, in education and employment opportunities, the country and the countrymen have to contribute much more than what presently is being done. They have rights which not only must be respected but targets oriented schemes of different hues in their favour, including in sports, must get due attention from the Government.

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